My final dish for my Cinco de Mayo fiesta is carnitas. I always order it whenever I go to my favorite Mexican restaurant. So moist and tender in the inside and crisp and salty on the outside. Perfection.
Traditionally carnitas are cooked in lard (and I’m sure they are at my favorite restaurant) but I’ve noticed most people have an aversion to cooking with lard these days. As an alternative, many people cooked the pork butt until it was crispy from the fat rendered from the meat.
I tried their method, but it didn’t work well for me. But what did work was to cook the pork until tender, chop it up and reheat it in a mild oil until crisp on the outside.
This is a great dish because not only is it easy, you can also make it in advance and reheat when needed, making it the perfect party dish.
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Recipe from Homesick Texan
- 3 pounds of pork butt, with plenty of fat
- 1 cup of orange juice
- 3 cups of water
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- Cut pork into large chunks and place in large pot.
- Add orange juice, water and salt.
- Bring to a boil and turn down heat to low. Simmer for 2 hours, uncovered.
- Bring heat up to medium-high and boil for 45 minutes until liquid is evaporated.*
- Cut or shred pork into bite size pieces, removing any remaining fat
- You can refrigerate until ready to use or in a skillet heat 1 tablespoon of mild oil (I used safflower) and brown pork until crispy on the outside.
- Serve with corn or flour tortillas and guacamole.
*I still always have liquid left but the meat is super tender. I take it out and let it cool slightly then cut up the pork. If your pot is large enough, you may actually evaporate all the liquid and brown meat in the rendered fat. But if that doesn’t happen – no worries – just brown the meat in a mild oil like I do. It’s delicious!